“I want to get Tri-S and Study Away back to where it was pre-COVID-19. I would like to see more students spend a semester or summer off-campus having more intense cultural experiences,” director of Tri-S Global, Aurora Doster, said.
Doster is no longer an AU employee like she was prior to the COVID-19 shutdown in early 2020, when Tri-S and Study Away trips were suspended. Instead, she now works for a company called Global Education Services, which contracts with the university for outsourced study-abroad programs.
Since Tri-S trips began again last year, Doster said, interest in the program has been strong. However, the number of people actually traveling has declined.
Many people are struggling to afford daily necessities with inflation rising. People do not have as much extra money due to these rising costs.
Despite this decrease in travelers, many trips are still in the works for students. There are plenty of aid and fundraising options available for students who may be struggling financially.
Trips occurring during the spring semester of 2023 include trips for specific departments, such as nursing, social work, and dance. There are also trips that are open to all students.
Senior nursing students are required to have a Tri-S experience that includes a local service project, or an international trip. The international trips this year include Ecuador and Belize. All three trips will take place in April of this year. Students will use their skills to minister to others through nursing.
Social work seniors will also be going on a Tri-S trip in April. They will travel to Los Angeles, where they will visit Skid Row and work with the homeless community.
Other trips occurring during the spring semester of 2023 include dance students going to Paris, and Chorale doing a Nordic Tour. As part of the Nordic Tour, Chorale members will visit Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark after graduation in May. The women’s soccer team will travel to Italy in May.
Trips open to all students this spring include a backpacking trip to the Appalachian Trail, a trip to Ecuador and a trip to Greece.
There are two more trips potentially in the works for late summer. These include a trip to Peru, which is open to all students, and a trip to Atlanta, which is open to students in the School of Theology.
Trips are already in the works for the 2023-24 school year. Between 15 and 20 trips are being worked on for next school year.
“All students who go on these trips benefit from being able to put the trip on a resume,” Doster said. “It helps when you’re in interviews.”
According to Doster, students with these types of experiences tend to get jobs and get into graduate schools at higher rates.
Doster said that all students who go on Tri-S trips learn various soft skills. “You’ve learned how to be comfortable in the uncomfortable. You’ve learned how to navigate places you’ve never been before. You spend intense amounts of time with individuals who you may or may not like,” she said.
Two AU students who have been able to experience Tri-S trips are Tori Storm and Hannah Rady.
Storm attended the London Tri-S trip in Spring 2022. That was her first time traveling outside of the United States, and she wanted to see a different cultural perspective.
The London trip mainly involved tourism. Storm particularly enjoyed visiting Kensington Palace and the National Art Gallery.
“It’s a collection of art in big museums, so that was really cool as an art major,” Storm said. “In my art classes, we are learning about different architecture and sculpting, so it was cool to see Victorian style Gothic art in real life.”
Storm also enjoyed getting to experience a lifestyle that is different from the United States.
To any students considering going on a Tri-S trip, Storm said, “Definitely do it. This is a good time when you can go with students and people you’re comfortable with and experience it all together.”
Senior Hannah Rady has been on three Tri-S trips during her time at AU. She went to Thailand her freshman year, London during the spring of 2022, and Spain over the summer of 2022 with the women’s volleyball team.
Rady wanted to go on Tri-S trips because she loves to travel and has a passion for mission work.
“I think that’s a calling that God has placed on my life in some capacity. Having that ability to travel with my university was really impactful,” Rady said.
Rady and the other students worked with the only accredited Christian school in Thailand. They played volleyball with the students, read with them and sat in on some of their classes to help the students.
In Spain, Rady and the volleyball team visited Madrid and Barcelona. In Madrid, they worked with a
“They take women that have been involved in sex trafficking and they come from all over. We went there and we spent time with them,” Rady said. “We just hung out with them, which was really special because they don’t get to have visitors.”
In Barcelona, Rady and the team worked with a local church.
“We attended their service, and then we went out to eat with their youth. We also helped with their outreach programs,” Rady said. “They provide food and clothing for families in need in the area. We helped paint for them, organize some of their stuff, and put together baskets for them to give out to females.”
To any students considering going on a Tri-S trip, Rady said, “Definitely go. It’s a great experience. Don’t be afraid if your friends aren’t going because I’ve met some of my best friends on Tri-S trips. AU plans around our breaks and makes it a lot more feasible. Just put yourself out there and you never know what’s going to happen and the ways God can move through you.”
It is not too late for students to sign up for a Tri-S trip for this school year. Detailed information about each trip can be found on Anderson University’s website or by emailing email@example.com.